Creating, Winning and Retaining Small Business Customers: An Entrepreneurial Perspective from Australia with Implications for New Zealand

Alex Maritz, Swinburne University of Technology
Tony Lobo, Swinburne University of Technology

Abstract: Small to medium size enterprises account for no less than 95% of all businesses at an international level. Within Australia and New Zealand, small to medium size enterprises contribute in excess of 30% of the total economic activity, together with being the largest employer in the private sector. of paramount importance, however, is the high exit rate of these firms in Australia and New Zealand, whereby one in three firms exit after five years in operation. This study empirically examines entrepreneurial service initiatives within a defined small to medium size enterprises context. The initiatives include the service profit chain, industry best practice, relationships and best practice. Our aim is to introduce these initiatives to enhance customer satisfaction and loyalty, thereby enhancing the growth of these small growing businesses, in turn reducing the high exit rates.